Harveys labelEveryone loves a glass of Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry. So stock up with a 1-litre bottle at Asda for only £7.00 (down from £10.06), £8.00 at Sainsbury’s (down from £10.30 until December 7th) and £8.00 at Ocado (down from £10.29). Within the traditional blue bottle you'll find flavours of raisin and brown sugar to meet all Christmas pie and trifle-soaking needs.

Harveys Amontillado Sherry

£6.00 Asda and £6.06 Sainsbury’s (down from £8.08 until December 7th)

Lighter and less sweet than cream sherry, amontillado sherry tastes more of Brazil and hazelnuts than raisins. So best enjoyed either on its own or used to soak lighter puddings and cakes - it works well enhancing the syrup of pineapple-upside down pudding.

Black Bottle Whisky

£14.99 The Green Welly Stop

I have now settled on Black Bottle whisky as the cake-soaking alcohol of choice but unfortunately it’s getting harder to find. The blend’s seven smoky Islay malt whiskies have been toned down with the addition of the more rounded flavours of everyday whisky and so it won’t overpower fruit cake as would a highly flavoured single-malt whisky.

Whyte and MackayWhyte and Mackay Special Blended Scotch Whisky

£11.27 Asda, £14.49 Sainsbury’s, £14.99 Waitrose (larger 1-litre bottle £18.89) and £19.99 (1-litre bottle) Ocado

It smells like nuts mixed with wood shavings and tastes rather like nutty butter. A simple and drinkable whisky that should please all palates this Christmas.

The Macallan Single Malt Fine Oak Ten Years Old

£24.59 Waitrose (down from £30.59)

Maturing the whisky in used American Bourbon whiskey and Spanish sherry barrels adds both acidic and toffee notes. I enjoy this single malt straight and without the addition of a splash of water. Scotsmen may shudder at this liberty but dilution weakens the flavour to an unenjoyable harshness.